AP is reporting that Chuck-It Charlie Villanueva will become a Piston, and has agreed to a 5-year, $35 million contract, Journal Sentinel is reporting. So, that sentence should be interpreted as follows: The Bob Boozer Jinx says that the Journal Sentinel says that Charlie will be a Pistion next season and agreed to a deal sometime today (Wednesday). Just a couple of hours ago.
Charlie joins free agent shooting guard Ben Gordon in Detroit. Gordon earlier today agreed to a 5-year, $55 mill contract to become a Piston.
In Detroit, the fans are wondering whether they’re still the Pistons or the UConn Huskies (Gordon, Villanueva and holdover Pistons guard Rip Hamilton played at UConn).
It’s interesting that, in Chicago, $11 million was considered too much to pay for Gordon, considering some of the ridiculously inflated 2-guard salaries out there. But Bulls fans have griped over the last year or so that Gordon’s running mate, Kirk Hinrich, is overpaid. Hinrich signed a $10 million per year contract extension in 2007, about the same dough the Bulls offered Gordon. It seems as much as they liked Hinrich and Gordon in Chicago, it was understood that they were not good enough to get the team to the upper echelon of the East. … Derrick Rose, Derrick Rose, Derrick Rose.
As for Charlie, $35 million at $7 mill per year would NOT have been money well spent by the Bucks. It is, however, about market rate for productive, improving young big forwards — believe it or not Bucks fans. Charlie gets nearly $1 million more than the Cleveland’s Anderson Varejao ($6.2 mill 2009-10) plays for, and Varejao had to hold out into December of 2007-08 season to get his. (Varejao this week opted out of his final year in Cleveland, looking for raise).
Unfortunately for the Pistons (not the Bucks, thankfully) there isn’t anything Chuck-It Charlie does better than Varejao except chuck up shots.
There are, on the other hand, far worse contracts in the NBA than Charlie’s pending deal with the Pistons. The Bucks will pay Dan Gadzuric $6.7+ mill next season, part of the reason why the Bucks couldn’t afford to keep Charlie around even if they had wanted to. They didn’t want to, and never tendered to him a qualifying offer.
Charlie had his best season as a pro in 2008-09, averaging 16.2 ppg and 6.7 boards, missing only 4 games and both starting (41 games) and coming off of Scott Skiles’ bench. Unfortunately, as a “best pro season” it really wasn’t all that good or good enough. Charlie’s all-around play and shooting died down the stretch as the Bucks stumbled out of a playoffs spot. It was sadly predictable.
But let’s wish Charlie well in Detroit, where, pending the resigning of Rasheed Wallace, the Pistons will have two big men out by the 3-point line, chucking away while their new sharpshooting guard, Gordon, wonders what the #@#! is going on. I just can’t see Sheed staying long in the paint to watch Charlie shoot bricks from downtown. Seems to me the Pistons next season will need a more consistent Sheed than ever before.
Ersan and the Bucks new frontcourt … Meanwhile, we can look forward to the return to the Bucks frontcourt of Ersan Ilyasova, currently in negotiations with the Bucks. The more I look at what I’ve dug up so far on Ersan from last season in Barcelona, the more I like the promise of the Bucks young frontcourt — Andrew Bogut, Amir Johnson, Ersan and Luc Mbah a Moute … Bogut, still only 24, would be the senior member … But enough out of me — enjoy some more Ersan video …
Here he is winning MVP honors in game 5 of the Euroleague quarterfinals, the game that launched FC Barcelona (Barca) into the Euroleague final four (they finished 3rd).
Ersan had 18 points, 11 boards in that game. His jumper looks great, more consistent than Charlie’s — and he’s a much better 3-baller. Better shooting is just what the inconsistent and chucking Bucks need to be more complete in the frontcourt, assuming that Bogut and 6’9″ Amir Johnson will be doing most of the banging. I’m on the Ersan bandwagon. Here’s another good-shooting reel:
And here’s the Euroleague October “player of the month” vid, in case you missed it in yesterday’s post.